Quoted from the article:
F. Murray Abraham got his first decent screen role as an actor when he was 45. The role was in the movie Amadeus and he won an Academy Award for his brilliant portrayal of Antonio Salieri. He had thought of giving up acting just two years before but thankfully didn’t.
Andrea Bocelli didn’t start singing opera seriously until the age of 34. Some ‘experts’ told him it was too late to begin.
Phyliss Diller became a comedian at the age of 37. She was told by many club owners that she was “too old” to become a success.
Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was 43 when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was 44 when he created The Fantastic Four.
Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.
Elizabeth Jolley had her first novel published at the age of 56. In one year alone she received 39 rejection letters but finally had 15 novels and four short story collections published to great success. Mary Wesley was 71 when her first novel was published. Talk about not giving up!
Ricardo Montalban had his dream house built at the age of 68. That was when he was finally financially able to do so and he went full-speed ahead with it.
Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.
Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing as a columnist in her 40s. Contrary to a belief begun by the TV series about her family, the popular Little House books weren’t written when she was a young girl at all. They were written and published when the ‘girl’ was in her 60’s!
I think most artists dread (and some of us also visualize with self-loathing detail) a future in which we’ve not only wasted our time on a Useless Career Choice, but also show no substantial signs of improvement. We silently beat ourselves up in ways that even the worst critic wouldn’t.
However, if all the talented people listed above (and countless others) had listened to societal standards regarding success, and what it’s supposed to look like, and the supposed age at which it’s “now or never,” we wouldn’t even know their names.
Chart your own course. Practice every day. Teach yourself to separate the sincere drive to improve from the self-destructive impulse to overanalyze.
As long as you’re still drawing breath, you’re still in the game. And if you’re still in the game, you can still win.